The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I've been busy reading a lot of Twilight for the last year and a half, but I realized recently that there are some really great young adult books out there. I am a fan of Harry Potter, too, and when a friend recommended The Hunger Games, I gave it a try. And it sucked me in immediately. It was The Road meets teen romance meets Gladiator or something. I can't even explain it and I don't like to tell people the plot before they read it. I went into it completely blind as to what it was about and that made for more of a surprise while reading it. Catching Fire is the second in the series. The third and final book is due out in August of this year. I. Can't. Wait. Probably my favorite I read this year.
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
In continuing the theme of young adult series, I picked up The Mortal Instruments when a friend recommended it. I didn't get into it as quickly. In fact, for the first couple of chapters I thought I was going to quit. It is a world with angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, and just about anything else you can imagine. The characters take some time before you like them much, but I was completely sucked into the story and read all three rather large books over the course of a couple of weeks. I was under the impression there were only 3 books, but apparently a fourth is in the works: City of Broken Glass. Again: can't wait!
Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer
I saw this one in all the English-language bookstores in Mumbai so I picked it up. It was heavily promoted because it was about a climber attempting to summit Mount Everest back before anyone had ever done it. It's based on the true story of George Mallory, using his family's stories and his own diaries. It was a great story, and very tragic. For some reason it stuck with me. Then, when I went to Darjeeling, I went to the Himalayan Climbing Museum and there were photos of him and some of his gear and things there. It was so random because I had just read the book. Anyway, I really thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Outcast by Sadie Jones
I reviewed it here. The story just broke my heart. It was a tad slow in parts, but a pretty easy read.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
So apparently I like very sad books. This one was written by the author of The Kite Runner, so I knew to expect something hard to read. And while I found The Kite Runner very sad, I sat and cried in multiple different places while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns. This book focuses on the lives of women in Afghanistan. It's a hard subject to broach, and one should be warned it isn't an easy story to read. But very well-written and emotive.
I reviewed it here. I had never read it before and was surprised at how quickly I got into it.
OK, so clearly I didn't get around to reviewing ALL the books I read last year. But I read a lot! I love to read, but I read a lot even for me this last year. Maybe 30 or so books? I'll try to keep track of them this year.